Qatari official says FIFA ban was 'political'

Saoud Al-Mohannadi, the Qatar Football Association's vice-president, won appeal against the ban handed down by a FIFA ethics committee

(Photo: staticflickr)

(Photo: staticflickr)

A senior Qatari official who recently overturned a one-year FIFA ban said on Tuesday the case against him was "political" and may stand again for the all-powerful FIFA Council.

Saoud Al-Mohannadi, the Qatar Football Association's vice-president, was making his first public comments since winning his appeal against the ban, handed down by a FIFA ethics committee last year.

He was also fined 20,000 Swiss francs ($20,000, 18,700 euros) for refusing to cooperate with a corruption inquiry.

But in a rare reversal, Al-Mohannadi last month successfully overturned the sanctions against him.

"I was condemned with the wrong decision and it just took the appeals committee of FIFA to see that," Al-Mohannadi told AFP. 

"They didn't have a case, they knew that it was political. 

"I wanted to clear my name after all these years in football, you know you don't want to end your career with suspicion, especially if you had no wrongdoing."

Asked who was behind the politics, Al-Mohannadi replied: "You can say FIFA in general, and I don't blame FIFA now because of all this what's happening around FIFA and football."

Al-Mohannadi's long-running case has proved controversial for football's scandal-hit governing body and now threatens to overshadow next month's FIFA Congress in Bahrain.

Just three days before, the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) will hold a meeting and vote in Bahrain to elect members to the FIFA Council, which the governing body says "sets the vision for FIFA and global football".

This is the ballot which Al-Mohannadi, also vice-president of the AFC, is currently excluded from, having missed a deadline to stand which passed during his ban.

Asked if he still might put his name forward, Al-Mohannadi said he was "examining" the issue.

He also said he would attend the meeting in Bahrain.

It was the furore over the AFC's abandoned FIFA Council vote last September which brought Al-Mohannadi's case to wider attention.

The Qatari, one of the favourites to win, was stopped at the very last minute from standing for election.

Outraged AFC members, some believing FIFA was using its ethics body to influence the result of the election, cancelled the vote.

Two months later Al-Mohannadi was banned for a year for refusing to help in an investigation, FIFA announced.

Although the target of the inquiry was not specified, AFP understands that it involved a FIFA investigation into Najeeb Chirakal, a personal assistant to Mohamed bin Hammam, the Qatari powerbroker thought most responsible for bringing the World Cup to the Gulf in 2022.

When being handed the ban, Al-Mohannadi was accused of infringing "his duty to collaborate as a witness in proceedings".

It was this ruling that FIFA's appeal committee dismissed. 

Papers seen by AFP show the committee ruled "that the evidence available" was not "sufficient" to support the initial findings and ban.

Join the Discussion

Disclaimer:The view expressed here by our readers are not necessarily shared by Arabian Business, its employees, sponsors or its advertisers.

NOTE: Comments posted on may be printed in the magazine Arabian Business

Please post responsibly. Commenter Rules

  • No comments yet, be the first!

All comments are subject to approval before appearing

Further reading

Features & Analysis
Qatari cycling event foreshadows 2022 World Cup weather concerns

Qatari cycling event foreshadows 2022 World Cup weather concerns

Competitors at a world cycling competition in Qatar may have...

Bahraini overtures to Kenya-born runners attract medals, controversy

Bahraini overtures to Kenya-born runners attract medals, controversy

Oil-rich Bahrain has been luring poor but talented young runners...

Meddling for medals: the politics of sport in the Gulf

Meddling for medals: the politics of sport in the Gulf

Kuwait’s recent re-suspension from the International Olympic...

Most Discussed
  • 19
    It's time for restaurants to stop shaming smokers

    Comparing Driving to Smoking is the most shameless ploy to convince people that we should not persecute smokers.

    If your vehicle hits someone... more

    Thursday, 25 May 2017 12:47 PM - Elkhorn
  • 9
    Revealed: huge disparity in Dubai school fees

    I recall a recent study by Alpen Capital suggesting that the average cost of a child's entire life of schooling in Dubai is about AED 1 million. Although... more

    Monday, 29 May 2017 9:21 AM - New Expat
  • 5
    How Saudi Arabia blundered into OPEC oil cut

    Before Saudi Arabia's decision to move to unlimited production, analysts broadly thought break-even for shale was usd80. After the move, shale producers... more

    Tuesday, 30 May 2017 12:44 PM - Anastasios Dalgiannakis